Canada, get ready to meet Prince George and Princess Charlotte!
Prince William and Princess Kate are “looking forward to introducing their young family” to Canada when they embark on their eight-day tour on September 24, a spokesman said at a Buckingham Palace briefing Monday.
“This is a great opportunity for them to introduce their children to a major realm before things like school start to make these things difficult later on,” the spokesman continued. “They really enjoyed taking Prince George to New Zealand and Australia and are delighted to have this opportunity to introduce them to Canada.”
The royal family’s visit will be largely based in Victoria, British Columbia, where they will stay at the Government House. They will also take in the wonders of the city of Vancouver, visit Bella Bella and the Great Bear Rainforest and remote Yukon as well during their stay.
It is the first time that 16-month-old Charlotte has been on an official tour with her parents. George accompanied his parents on a memorable tour to New Zealand and Australia in 2014.
The visit will likely be similar in structure to George’s trip Down Under. It is “highly likely” the children will be seen when they arrive in Victoria on September 24, a royal source says, and again during departure. There’s also the possibility of a couple kid-friendly events – similar to George’s fun play date in New Zealand.
“The proviso is that they very small children, but the plan is for the family to get a chance to say ‘hello,’ ” a place source adds.
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One possible occasion to see the royal kids in action will be at a children’s party with military families on the grounds of Government House on September 29.
“A group of military families have been invited to share what should be a really lovely morning with plenty of surprises for the children,” the couple’s spokesman said Monday.
The sports-loving couple will have a few outdoor events as well, including fishing in Haida Gwaii. And while there will be formal occasions and meetings, Kate is expected to leave her tiaras at home.
“They are spending a considerable amount of time in one or two places rather than having to dart across the country, so they really hope to get a real sense of British Columbia in particular. It is a largely casual, highly outdoors tour,” the spokesman said at the briefing. “There will be the usual government formal moments, but they’ll getting out there and getting to meet Canadians face-to-face in all sorts of different settings.”
In a statement the spokesman added, “The Duke and Duchess are delighted with the program. They cannot wait to get to Canada and start learning about new parts of the country that will play such an important part of their lives for many years to come.”
The couple will take an entourage of 12 people. There are three private secretaries, four communications staff, a tour secretary, an operations manager and a personal assistant. Kate’s hairdresser Amanda Tucker and nanny Maria Turrion Borrallo are also going and being paid for privately.
Their longtime foreign affairs adviser Sir David Manning will not be on the tour. The third private secretary is Laura Baker, William’s assistant private secretary.